Leiden University and Oegstgeest to build affordable green housing
Leiden University is seeking bids from developers for housing in Nieuw Rhijngeest-Zuid, the Oegstgeest part of the Leiden Bio Science Park. Hundreds of affordable student rooms and social and mid-market homes will be built on this site.
The university is thus demonstrating how it wants to be an important social partner in the region, says Executive Board member Martijn Ridderbos, whose portfolio includes real estate. ‘Nieuw Rhijngeest-Zuid is the area between the section of the A44 motorway where Life Science & Health buildings are being constructed and homes by “VOF aan de Rijn” are being realised’, he explains. ‘In the tendering, the University and the Municipality of Oegstgeest are looking for a suitable developer who can draw up a development plan, build the homes and design the public spaces.’
Ridderbos continues, ‘The university and municipality want to realise 300 student studios and 500 regular homes in Nieuw Rhijngeest-Zuid. The tender only includes the 500 regular homes because the university already has an agreement with Leiden student housing specialist DUWO about constructing the 300 student studios. The tender itself relates to 125 housing association homes and 175 to 225 mid-market homes. That leaves room for 150 to 200 homes in the free sector.’
University as social partner
The tender ties in well with the university’s social vision, says Ridderbos, ‘As an important social partner, we want to make a structural contribution to the further development of the Leiden Bio Science Park. The need for affordable homes in our region fits perfectly with this. And as we are committed to sustainability, we are also seeking a development plan that is sustainable.’
Leiden University and the Municipality of Oegstgeest want to enter a long-term partnership with the winning developer, Ridderbos adds. ‘Alongside the 500 homes, amenities such as a marina, shops, cafés and restaurants must also be included. The developer will also be responsible for the public spaces, so access roads, greenery, water, outdoor spaces, parking spaces and so on.’ The university will issue the land for the rental homes on a leasehold basis and sell the land on which the owner-occupied homes will be built.
Sustainable and green
As mentioned, the plans align with the university’s ambition to be an important social partner in the region. ‘In realising these hundreds of homes, we are meeting the huge demand for affordable homes’, Ridderbos explains. ‘And sustainability, one of our university’s focuses, plays a leading role in the project. We are aiming for the sustainable development of this area, so greenery, water and high biodiversity will be a top priority. We are asking interested developers to focus on creating a pleasant environment for future residents and a climate-adaptive neighbourhood. Parking spaces should be hidden from view as much as possible and attention should be paid to how the plan connects to the existing homes and businesses in the area. It will be a beautiful place in a top location: green, sustainable, accessible and affordable for all.’
Joek Kruiderink, who is involved as a project manager from Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP), is also enthusiastic about the tender. ‘At the LBSP we are working on a long-term vision to realise a mix of functions with businesses, knowledge institutions, hospitality, retail and housing. It’s great to be able to take that vision a step further by developing a large number of affordable homes in a pleasant setting. The tender will undoubtedly ensure that years of preparation pay off in the coming months.’